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services on financial instruments under the
fi-compass is a unique platform for advisory
for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).
European Structural and Investment Funds
(ESIF) and microfinance under the Programme
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be an important tool for boosting EU agriculture.
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Investments, in a variety of forms, will help create a modern, dynamic agri-food
sector to create jobs and enhance growth in the EU. Financial Instruments will
Financial instruments using the European Social Fund
can support a wide range of financially viable
investment projects
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FEATURES

January 2017
13.01.2017 Microcredit for credit guarantee institutions in Italy: fi-compass EaSI TA workshop
The first fi-compass workshop for 2017 under the Employment and Social Innovation programme's Technical Assistance service for microfinance (EaSI TA) will take place in Milan next week on Wednesday January 18th. This fi-compass EaSI TA workshop is focused on helping credit guarantee institutions and other financial intermediaries to become microcredit providers. Special attention will be paid by increasing participants' understanding about accessing technical and financial services provided by...
13.01.2017 Scottish ex-ante assessment confirms the potential of financial instruments support
A fi-compass case study from Scotland explains the managing authority's experiences during an ex‑ante assessment for financial instruments under the 2014‑2020 European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Operational Programme (OP). The assessment helped to facilitate evidence-based decision‑making by the managing authority regarding possible design and set-up stages for ERDF financial instruments.  Highlighting the importance of the planning process, the managing authority said: "We...
October 2016
19.10.2016 New advisory services from fi-compass
The new 2016-2018 work programme has been launched by fi-compass. The new advisory services build on the achievements of the first fi-compass work programme, which include a successful series of capacity building events and the publication of many new learning resources about European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) financial instruments, as well as the continuation of the Employment and Social Innovation programme technical assistance (EaSI TA). Developing further the capacity of...
July 2016
19.07.2016 Success factors for agricultural guarantee funds: lessons from Lithuania
Member States’ real-life experiences of using financial instruments for rural development were explained as part of the fi-compass seminar in Rome on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowledge sharing included practical advice by Inga Balžekaitė from the Lithuanian Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGF) who explained that, “If we want to have a long-running guarantee scheme, first of all we need to have an efficient organisational structure. As well we...
04.07.2016 Rural development financial instruments showcased by fi-compass
Two macro-regional seminars were organised by fi-compass to raise awareness about opportunities for using financial instruments supported by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). The events were titled ‘EAFRD financial instruments for agriculture and rural development in 2014-2020’ and took place in Madrid on 31 May and in Rome on 13 June 2016. Both events gathered a broad audience, including EAFRD managing authorities, fund managers, bankers, investors, audit...
April 2016
26.04.2016 Financial instruments' potential for promoting energy efficiency
Financial instruments using the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) can support energy efficiency projects that are economically viable and provide positive environmental impacts. Information available through the fi-compass knowledge-sharing platform includes case study examples that highlight the potential of using ESIF financial instruments to support energy-efficiency schemes. An example is the London Green Fund, which is investing in London’s transition to a low carbon...
22.04.2016 Microcredit insights from Hungary
Small and micro-sized businesses form important parts of the Member States’ economies and fi-compass provides advice about financial instruments that can assist the growth potential of these companies. A dedicated fi-compass factsheet on ‘Financial instruments working with microfinance’ is one example of such advice. Expertise in microfinance matters is also disseminated through fi-compass events. These have included the high profile workshop ‘Microfinance under the European Social Fund 2014...
March 2016
17.03.2016 Flagship fi-compass events spotlight opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund
Two high level events were organised by fi-compass earlier this month to raise awareness about opportunities for financial instruments in the European Social Fund (ESF). Both events were based in Brussels with a conference on ‘Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ taking place on 2 February, which was followed the next day by the ‘Microfinance under the European Social Fund 2014-2020’ workshop. These ESF events attracted a broad range of interest from managing...
February 2016
12.02.2016 New fi-compass advice on microfinance instruments
Microfinance instruments can be useful for supporting microenterprises, unemployed workers, and citizens suffering from disadvantages. By helping to improve access to more affordable finance, these instruments remain particularly useful for supporting self-employment, business start-ups, integration and employment of vulnerable groups, as well as other social policies. Such microfinance instruments can make a real difference to EU citizens by promoting financial and social inclusion. Thus in...
12.02.2016 Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Stefan De Keersmaecker, DG EMPL, European Commission On 3 February 2016, fi-compass organised a workshop on Microfinance under the European Social Fund (ESF) which took place in Brussels. This workshop was attended by more than 100 participants including policy makers, representatives from managing authorities and microfinance providers. Stefan De Keersmaecker, Deputy Head of Unit at DG EMPL, European Commission, and Per-Erik Eriksson from the European Investment Fund...
12.02.2016 Financial Instruments under the European Social Fund (ESF)
Picture: Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director, DG EMPL, European Commission On 2 February 2016, fi-compass organised a high level conference on financial instruments under the ESF. This flagship event was attended by over 180 people including policy makers, managing authorities and audit bodies, as well as delegates from the banking and consultancy sectors. Speaking at the launch of the conference, Andriana Sukova-Tosheva, Director at DG EMPL, European Commission, underlined the...
11.02.2016 New fi-compass case study: developing the social economy in Poland
fi-compass has released a new case study about a financial instrument co-financed by the European Social Fund (ESF) that provides loans and advice to socially-oriented enterprises across Poland. This is a valuable example of how a managing authority, here the Polish Ministry of Infrastructure and Development, and partners have established an instrument to promote sustainable, quality employment, supporting labour mobility and social inclusion, while also combating poverty and discrimination...
January 2016
26.01.2016 New advisory publications for the European Social Fund to be released next week
Financial instruments co-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) can be used to invest in the growth and development of EU citizens and their skills - thereby promoting employment and social inclusion. More Member States are starting to use financial instruments for social development purposes, and fi-compass is involved with helping to improve understanding about opportunities from ESF financial instruments. New advisory publications on this topic will be launched next week at our fi-...
December 2015
10.12.2015 Sharing the risk of business investments: lessons from the fi-compass case study library
EU Member States are being encouraged to make an efficient use of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) through the use of financial instruments. Lessons learned from the successes of financial instruments using the ESIF predecessor funds can provide valuable experience, and fi-compass is involved in sharing this experience through advisory products such as case studies. Our most recently published case study features a venture capital (VC) co-investment instrument from the...
November 2015
19.11.2015 Video feedback from fi-compass events
Delegates at the fi-compass events continue to appreciate the advice about financial instruments that is provided by experts and case studies. Examples of the positive feedback from the fi-compass regional European Social Fund seminar in Warsaw were recorded in short 'snapshot' video interviews. One of these video snapshot interviews is with Barbara Dziubak, from the Polish managing authority who says that she found the “sessions were very useful, especially on the ex-ante assessments...
13.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
On the 4th of November 2015 financial instruments under the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Warsaw. This seminar was part of a series of ESF seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. Around 70 participants attended the seminar in Warsaw which shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Andrea Da Pozzo, European Commission and Ando Siitam, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial instruments...
09.11.2015 Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development
The fi-compass seminar in Riga focusing on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) highlighted the benefits of financial instruments which ensure the re-use of public funds, particularly through guarantee funds in agriculture and rural development. Participants exchanged on the importance of pinpointing the exact needs of final recipients, as well as the type and size of instruments that would address them. Picture: Jānis Dūklavs, Minister for Agriculture of the...
04.11.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
On the 21st of October 2015 financial instruments delivering the ESF were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in Paris, Rome and Warsaw. Around 80 participants attended the seminar in Rome. This shows high interest in financial instruments under the ESF. Following the opening and welcome speeches by Leonardo Colucci, European Commission and Pieter Coppens, European Investment Bank practical experiences on the use of financial instruments...
04.11.2015 Member States seminar series: Italy
On the 22nd of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Rome. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Picture: Salvatore Vescina, Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic Following the opening speech of Salvatore Vescina, Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the Italian Republic, practical experiences on the use of financial instruments were presented. This included the...
October 2015
22.10.2015 Positive feedback from fi-compass seminar participants
The fi-compass seminar series is underway and participants have already noted very positive feedback from the first round of events. High satisfaction levels reported by seminar delegates underline the events’ ability to provide useful advice for a wide range of public and private sector partners involved in ESIF financial instruments. Each seminar is specially designed for its audience. The presentations include guidance about essential technical matters for financial instruments. Other...
16.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Romania
On the 8th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Bucharest. This seminar was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. More than 80 people took part in this well-attended seminar. Places at the event had to be extended in order to accommodate the high level of interest from public sector bodies, banking organisations and consultancy companies. Following the opening speech by Ms Toader, General Director from the...
15.10.2015 Member States seminar series: Bulgaria
On the 6th of October 2015 financial instruments delivering ESI Funds were discussed at a seminar in Sofia. This event was part of a series of seminars conducted in 25 EU Member States. Around 120 participants attended the seminar in Sofia. This shows a high interest in financial instruments. Following the opening speech by Ms Kordova, Director of the Monitoring of EU Funds Directorate in Bulgaria, practical experience on the use of financial instruments was presented. This included...
12.10.2015 Grants and financial instruments working together
Provisions on combination of financial instruments with grants and other forms of support from the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are part of the 2014-2020 legal framework. Using financial instruments together with grants or other forms of support can have several advantages. It can allow financial support to be better tailored to the final recipients’ needs. What’s more, businesses could find combinations of ESIF support more attractive and more accessible. This is because...
08.10.2015 Financial Instruments delivering ESI Funds
Bratislava was the stage for the first national fi-compass event, where participants from Slovakia and a few neighbouring countries explored the potential of using financial instruments to deliver 2014-2020 ESIF objectives in the local and regional context. Similar seminars will be held in most other Member States during the next five months. The seminar provided the participants with practical information, including case studies and regulatory clarifications, on how financial instruments...
06.10.2015 Promoting financial instruments for agriculture and rural development
The importance of knowledge about using ex-ante assessments properly was one of the main conclusions from the recent fi-compass event focused on the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Knowhow about this and other systematic approaches involved in setting up an EAFRD financial instrument where noted as being extremely useful for EAFRD managing authorities. Other key topics discussed by the seminar speakers and delegates included the benefits of financial instruments...
September 2015
25.09.2015 Supporting financial instruments through European Social Fund (ESF)
Financial instruments and the ESF were under the spotlight in Paris this week at a regional seminar organised by fi-compass. Participants from around Europe attended the event which highlighted useful experiences from existing loan funds supporting the types of activities that are relevant for ESF purposes. Advice and experiences were also exchanged by the Paris participants about the range of fi-compass advisory material that is available to help ESF stakeholders. A special session for...
25.09.2015 Rural Development Programme financial instruments
A new article about financial instruments for Rural Development Programmes has been produced by the European Network for Rural Development (ENRD) in their EU Rural Review magazine. Advisory services provided by fi-compass for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development are spotlighted in the article, which also includes a range of other useful information for people interested in financial instruments for the Rural Development Programmes. See the article on our EAFRD page at the...
23.09.2015 Guide to financial instrument products
A new short reference guide about different financial instrument products is now available from fi-compass. The guide illustrates the key features and differences between products such as loans, guarantees, equity and quasi‑equity. It has been produced as a useful information source for managing authorities, financial intermediaries, final recipients of ESIF assistance and others with an interest in ESIF financial instruments. Find out more: Financial instrument products
11.09.2015 Action plan for financial instruments
Systematic approaches to the planning of financial instruments can help to improve their effectiveness. A new short reference guide from fi-compass structures the life cycle of a financial instrument along four logical phases (design, set‑up, implementation and winding‑up). This 16 page reference guide is relevant for all ESIF financial instruments and it summarises the main activities of each phase to ensure a comprehensive and efficient process. Sources of further information and references...
04.09.2015 Increase your knowledge about financial instruments
A new series of fi-compass seminars is now open for registration. These events will provide information about opportunities from ESI Fund financial instruments in different Member States. Specialised events focused on particular ESI Funds are also now open for registration. Places currently available include fi-compass events during October and November in Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovakia and Spain. Similar ...
July 2015
16.07.2015 Three regional events further increase awareness of FIs under ERDF and CF
A series of three fi-compass seminars with the same agenda took place on 27 May in Brussels, 2 June in Vienna and 9 June in Warsaw. The aim of these seminars was to help participants understand how Financial Instruments can support ESIF 2014-2020 objectives, in particular under the ERDF and the Cohesion Fund. The Brussels seminar opened with a statement by Rudolf Niessler, Director, DG Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission, on the rationale for using Financial Instruments to...
16.07.2015 The difference between off-the-shelf & tailor-made instruments
Amongst the new opportunities to ease the delivery of ESI Funds to the final recipients, there are the so-called off-the-shelf instruments providing standard terms and conditions, which are compatible with ESI Funds regulation and State Aid rules and seek to combine public and private resources. The Financial Instruments most commonly supported by ERDF in 2007-2013 and reflecting market practice have served as the basis for developing off-the-shelf instruments. For example, Lithuania's large...
16.07.2015 The fi-compass expert group met for the first time on 30 April
A fi-compass expert group has been established to provide advice to European Commission services so as to ensure the overall consistency of fi-compass, the advisory platform on Financial Instruments supported by the ESI Funds and the EaSI micro-finance. Advice should pertain to all fi-compass activities, and in particular the content and delivery of fi-compass work programmes, as well as themes and priorities for future calls for proposals for Multi-Region Assistance (planned to be launched in...
16.07.2015 Developing common standards: European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision
The European microcredit market is a young and growing sector which is quite heterogeneous due to the disparity of the legal and institutional frameworks in the Member States and the diversity of the microcredit providers. As a consequence, lending practices in microcredit vary considerably. The Commission has developed the European Code of Good Conduct for Microcredit Provision with the objective of setting out good practice guidelines that will better enable the sector to face the...
16.07.2015 First European conference on FIs under EAFRD a success – Tailor-made Financial Instruments are needed for boosting EU agriculture
The first European conference on Financial Instruments under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) took place on 23 and 24 June 2015 in Dublin, Ireland, and hosted more than 200 participants from across Europe. Opening the conference, An Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Enda Kenny T.D. underlined the importance of the agri-food sector in Ireland, pointing out that funding the sector was crucial and that Financial Instruments could help fund these much needed investments....
April 2015
21.04.2015 Share your expertise and get involved
Sharing best practices will be a great way to improve the performance of financial instruments under the new Investment Plan. If you have used financial instruments successfully or if you would like to contribute to the fi-compass platform, please get in touch by writing to us.
21.04.2015 A push for ESIF Financial Instruments
Having established the need to make Europe more attractive for investment and channel these investments where they are most needed, the European Commission recently announced a €315 billion Investment Plan over the next three years to boost jobs and growth (COM(2014)903). The plan was immediately substantiated by the proposal to create a new European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), to provide for additional risk financing. This is the first pillar of the plan. The second pillar is about...